The Paw Project
Posted 7/2/14 , edited 7/2/14
I recently saw the film "The Paw Project" which shines a light on the gruesome practice of declawing cats -- something that is surprisingly still legal and widely endorsed by veterinarians here in the US. Seeing the suffering of those poor felines was heartbreaking, and the fact that groups of veterinarians were so against having it made illegal made me very sick.

Having 3 kitties, I can't imagine putting any one of them through an ordeal as painful and crippling as that. I love them all so much and I only want what's best for them, but I thought to myself "What if what I was made to believe was best for them was to have them all declawed? Would I have done it?" The thought of it made my heart drop to the floor. There were quite a few people who suggested it to me before when they saw the scratches I got on my hands and arms. I remembered trying to imagine how nice a cute, clawless kitten must be once... But after seeing the film, I'm quite glad I never considered it. I'm glad that I stumbled upon it on Netflix because I feel that lack of knowledge about it would have led me to make a terrible decision that could have put my kitties in great danger.

What about you, what are your thoughts on this issue? Do you think it's perfectly okay for pet owners to declaw their cats? Furthermore, do you believe veterinarians should be suggesting this to pet owners?

Declawing is illegal and considered as animal cruelty in a lot of countries.

Should the U.S. also make it illegal?



Resources:

Trailer for The Paw Project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8pNuFDQrtg

An informative explanation of the procedure and its possible pros and cons: http://www.allfelinehospital.com/declaws.pml

dom924 
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Posted 7/2/14
Um I don't know allot about this but i do know that the cats scream and what not. I don't know the positives and i think that they should not tell owners to get this done. Sorry i don't really have much else to say just mostly the question of why is declawing needed again because really seems like a waste of time and money but also having a poor defenseless animal in pain is unacceptable (to me at least)
Posted 7/2/14
My cat's a little shit and tears up the furniture all the time, and cuts me. But it ain't no thang, I always considered it just a part of owning a cat. Plus, I wouldn't declaw her because then she couldn't climb trees or kill mice.

I never really thought of declawing cats as gruesome or making them suffer, though. I just always assumed it was a harmless procedure since vets offered it. If it is as bad as you say, then I guess I would say I would hope other cat owners wouldn't do it to their cat.

As far as making it illegal, I don't know. I never really given much thought to owning cats. Just gave them their food, took them to the vet sometimes, and gave them flea medication. Never felt like their was that much to owning one to where I felt legislation need to get involved. However if people are hurtin their lil <(*ΦωΦ*)> .....
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Posted 7/2/14
The cats are generally given a lot of novacane (an equivalent to it) when the procedure is being done. It usually isn't all that painful. I've literally watched it happen, when I was interning at a vet hospital. The can't seemed very displeased, but wasn't in any real pain.
Posted 7/2/14

dom924 wrote:

Um I don't know allot about this but i do know that the cats scream and what not. I don't know the positives and i think that they should not tell owners to get this done. Sorry i don't really have much else to say just mostly the question of why is declawing needed again because really seems like a waste of time and money but also having a poor defenseless animal in pain is unacceptable (to me at least)


People mostly get it because cats scratch and would often ruin furniture. However, declawing a cat doesn't only take out the claw or what some would consider the cat's "nail," although that would be bad enough really.. Declawing actually involves cutting off the claw AND the first knuckle of the cat where the claw is connected. Yes, they cut off bone too... Not to mention that doing that cuts off the tendons that help them flex their toes.
Posted 7/2/14
Sometimes the little bastards need this. Especially when you've purchased new leather furniture.
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Posted 7/2/14

demongurrl13 wrote:


dom924 wrote:

Um I don't know allot about this but i do know that the cats scream and what not. I don't know the positives and i think that they should not tell owners to get this done. Sorry i don't really have much else to say just mostly the question of why is declawing needed again because really seems like a waste of time and money but also having a poor defenseless animal in pain is unacceptable (to me at least)


People mostly get it because cats scratch and would often ruin furniture. However, declawing a cat doesn't only take out the claw or what some would consider the cat's "nail," although that would be bad enough really.. Declawing actually involves cutting off the claw AND the first knuckle of the cat where the claw is connected. Yes, they cut off bone too... Not to mention that doing that cuts off the tendons that help them flex their toes.


No tendons to do internetz?!
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Posted 7/2/14
We had a lot of family Cats, but we never cut their claws and we had all those cat for Rats so it's completely meaningless if their claws are cut, and they can't hunt a Rat.
Sogno- 
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Posted 7/2/14
if you leave the cats outside then none of this wouldn't be a problem... cats keep their claws & your furniture remains unscathed.
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Posted 7/2/14
My big issue is not with the subject matter, but with the apparent information source that is being used. The Paw Project's organization claims to be a small grass roots movement, according to their website. However, if they are "small" then why do they have a documented history of being able to rally a membership roster of between 50,000 and 500,000 (conservative estimate stated on public tax records) members internationally? If they are a grassroots movement, then shouldn't they be local and not international?

They also repeatedly use the word "mutilation" in regards to the practice of declawing, stating it is wrong to declaw due to the fact that it mutilates the animal. However, they also support spaying and neutering. Last time I checked, surgical and non-surgical alteration of any part of the body that can not be undone meets the criteria for being labeled "mutilation." Yes, even tagging animal ears is a form of mutilation. I am not saying that all of these practices are wrong or right, but American society and most societies worldwide allow for some form of mutilation. Why should a procedure that mutilates be wrong (declawing) but ear piercing (aka tagging some animals), spaying, and neutering be alright if mutilation is unacceptable?

Now, the research does show that declawing procedures are prone to developmental complications if done improperly or not cared for right. There are also many studies that reveal behavioral changes and some increased risks to pet owners, particularly those that have a compromised immune system. Should it be deemed illegal though? Is it animal cruelty?

Well, that which is illegal and that which is legal is often dictated by the values of a society. It is legal to consume alcohol, even though it is well known to cause life threatening complications in a large population. We can't say the law is there to protect life, because we just showed that it does not always do so. Should it be illegal because it causes pain? If the law existed to prevent pain, then why is it legal to play sports where bones are broken and the parents are not labeled as allowing their child to be abused? Any reason for making a practice illegal, should be able to withstand all applications and critics, in my opinion.

As such, I do not think it should be made illegal in the US. That does not mean I support the practice, but I do think that making it illegal takes the measures a bit to far. There are times where declawing is deemed beneficial, such as with cancerous growths. If you make the practice illegal, is it ok to let the cat suffer from cancer when removal of the claws could stop it before it can spread? I do think that many of the risks are horrible, and the pain they potentially suffer is extreme. However, as humans we subject ourselves and others to similar surgeries; albeit not as commonly. The answer, if you ask me, is not to make the practice illegal but insure that people are educated before making the decision. Let them learn the pro- and con- arguments of declawing and then decide. If they feel the procedure and risks are worth it, whom are we to stop them and if it is made illegal, where does it end?
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Posted 7/2/14
Personally, I would only accept declawing if there were no alternative to curbing disruptive behavior from the cat. It's simpler to clip a cat's claws, and declawing a cat deprives it of a much needed defense if it is both an indoor and outdoor cat.

I can understand someone's frustration with a cat sharpening its claws... but that's one of the tradeoffs of being owned by a cat. It isn't all that difficult to provide the cat with alternative places to sharpen claws, and to discourage it from using the furniture as a scratching post.

As to veterinarians actually endorsing the practice.. well, I'd just have to wonder how much the procedure costs. Seems to me it's a good place to pad a bill, and turn more profit than actually being beneficial to the cat.
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Posted 7/2/14
ive grown up with cats all my life.

i hate declawing cats. the problem i see is it depreives them of self defence, and the ablilty to eat on their own. its just wrong.

unless you baby her inside their entire life, i really hate to see them declawed.

as for scratches and clawing, just clip or file down their claws. just as effective, and not permenent.

(its wickedly funny to watch them rampaging right after cliping and the sudden loss of traction of hilarious )
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Posted 7/2/14
Think of it this way: Would you want the tip of your fingers cut off from the first knuckle up, nails and all? For me, no freaking way. We have two cats who are both indoor cats now, and despite their scratching sometimes, we would never consider doing this to the cats no matter what since we found out from the vet what it actually does to them. Give them stuff to scratch on, a scratching post or board, a cat tree with scratching stuff on it, or something else, and they're less likely to scratch what they aren't supposed to. My cat, a male, will let me clip his claws when needed, though he doesn't always like it. I have to wait until he's completely relaxed to be able to do it. Our other cat however, a female, has to be taken to the vet to get hers done because she's just a big brat about it. Always has been. She even has to get sedated for them to be able to do it without getting hurt from her. However, we'd rather do that and pay for that each time than declaw her because it's less harmful to her. Plus, if either of them got outside, they'd need their claws to defend themselves or whatever they might need to do to get by. So no, we aren't putting our cats through all that pain and suffering.

As for it being illegal, that's a tough call. Personally I wouldn't do it to my cat, but some other people might want or need that choice, so that part's a grey area for me.
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Posted 7/3/14 , edited 7/3/14
I'm indifferent on the matter. I really don't care if it would happen or not. Cow's get branded, horses get saddled, dogs get chained, birds get locked up (they won't let me out. ), elephants get paraded, whales get killed. Stuff happens. I don't think veterinarian's should make the open suggestion for such a thing to happen however.
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Posted 8/3/14
OP nuked, so thread closed. Feel free to recreate this topic.
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